Bret Lopez had a pair of sacrifice flies in BYU's 5-3 victory over Northern Illinois. (Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
LUBBOCK, Texas (February 16, 2013)—A 5-3 BYU baseball victory Saturday morning over Northern Illinois was countered by a 5-1 loss later in the day to undefeated host Texas Tech.
The day started off well for the Cougars (2-2) as freshman Brennon Anderson and junior Bret Lopez combined for three of the five runs. Anderson had a lead-off triple in the second inning and a two-run double in the third.
Lopez produced sacrifice flies both of those innings as BYU took a 4-0 lead. “Bret (Lopez) had some good at bats with productive outs,” said BYU coach Mike Littlewood. “Brennon’s (Anderson) double was key. Every single guy had a part to play in the win. “
Sophomore right-hander Jeff Barker was productive on the mound, tossing a two-hitter in six innings with four strikeouts to register the win. “It was a good win for us, but we had to piece it together,” said Littlewood. “I’m extremely proud of Jeff (Barker). He found his groove, the pressure was on him to throw strikes and work ahead.”
Reliever Matt Milke picked up the save in the ninth inning of Saturday’s opener of the Brooks Wallace Classic tournament. In the nightcap against Texas Tech (3-0), BYU struggled for consistency.
While starting BYU pitcher Adam Miller recorded six strikeouts, he also had as many walks.
Offensively, the Cougars had multiple base runners stranded in the first three innings.
A 3-6-1 double play snuffed out Adam Law and Jaycob Brugman, moving Jacob Hannemann to third in the first inning. In the second BYU again advanced a runner to third when Nate Favero was ruled safe on an errant catcher throw. Teammate Dakota Hernandez advanced to second on the play, but Hayden Nielsen struck out to end the inning.
In the third, BYU loaded the bases for naught.
The bases were juiced again in the eighth inning with one out when the Cougars finally scored as Anderson singled in Law. However, a 6-4-3 Texas Tech double play ended that threat.
Meanwhile, the host Red Raiders jumped out to a 3-0 lead, adding single runs in the fifth and seventh innings.
“I was pleased with Mark Anderson’s pitching efforts in both games today,” said Littlewood. “We played good defense tonight, but we let the game slip away with little things here and there. We faced a good pitcher, but we need to play nine complete innings and not give up 10 free passes.”
The Cougars next play at No. 3 LSU on Thursday in Baton Rouge, La., at 6:30 p.m. CST.